Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Book of Nature

• By Tony Harriman

Seems like the Book of Nature is designed to give us illustrations, not only of a good spirit, but also of a bad one.  There's a lot of beauty, but also a lot of ugly.  We see benevolence, but also a large amount of malevolence. 

For the longest time I have believed that Nature is an illustration of its Creator ... and ONLY of its Creator.  But I have never been able to account for all the apparent cruelty and injustice that we witness from one end of the planet to the other.  What in the world would all the horrors be telling us about nature's Creator?

I feel myself settling into another, broader picture of what stories the Book of Nature might be telling us.

Perhaps the broader view is that everything we have a sense to behold is a physical illustration of a much broader, sometimes darker, spiritual reality.  A bit like Newton's apple demonstrating the unseen reality of gravity — gravity which keeps our feet on the planet, but gravity which also breaks us to pieces if we abuse it.  In the case of visible nastiness, we see a manifestation of a nasty unseen reality -- evil.  Surely nastiness is not a manifestation of some aspect of a good Creator, right?  Clearly there is no holy intent or righteous lesson bound up in the nastiness that abounds on the planet. 

There are different views we can take of the creation we live in.  The very, very small and the very, very large present to us unerring mathematics.  There appear to be no variations on the way things work in the sub-atomic world or on the galactic plane.

It's the world we live in, the random one, in between the very big and the very small, where things are seemingly out of single control.  We have helpful people, and we have leeches.  We have creatures who exist without taking a life to sustain their own, and creatures who have to slay in order to stay alive.  And still some other creatures who often kill or maim simply because they have a nasty disposition.  We share the world with parasites that often take the life of their hosts.  The evolutionist would describe this latter behavior as an evidence that we live in a world where only the fittest survive.  

A word describing a behavior that mystifies evolutionists is that of altruism — behaving in a manner that benefits another and gaining no apparent benefit for the giver.  Where does altruism fit in a world where only the fittest survive?  Altruism reveals a spirit of benevolence, alien to the notion of a dog-eat-dog supremacy.  Altruism suggests the mathematical input of a being who cares.  Altruism does not develop in a mindless society where only the big dogs win.

Right now I am parked on the notion that when in nature we witness beauty that takes nothing from its fellows in order to be beautiful, that is clearly an illustration placed there for us to learn something about nature's Creator.  When we witness an action that is harmful to another sentient being, then that is an illustration telling us something about nature's enemy -- that old evil spirit we call the devil.

Nature appears to be a physical tapestry singing songs about the world we cannot see with our eyes.  That world must be seen with the mind and imagination.

And that's just my take on it ....

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Aliens Have Rights, Too — Don’t They?

• By Tony Harriman

A thought emerged in my mind recently that at first seemed quite absurd.  As I’ve mulled the idea over for a while, it doesn’t seem quite so “out there” as it did.  See what you think:

On the battlefield there is a protocol: the enemy is fair game; if he or she intends me or my side harm, then I am at liberty to take his or her life — immediately.  No committee meeting necessary to give me the go-ahead.

Off the battlefield there is an assortment of ways to handle the taking of human life, ways that have changed from time to time throughout history.

Historically, European kings and queens took to themselves the right to judge whether or not a subject should live or die.  If necessary, trumped-up charges of treason could be applied to various wives and courtiers, resulting in the loss of a head at dawn the next day.

Convicted pirates were granted an immediate hanging wherever they were found by officials of the British Empire.

When the American Colonies were being founded, the life of the Native American had little or no value for the longest time.  Scalps were taken and traded freely.

In the American northeast a woman (usually) could be hanged, burned or drowned for being unable to disprove the charge of being a witch.  Often the taking of the woman’s life was granted by a jury as the result of a short trial.  Many times the life was freely and quickly taken at the whim of villagers, quick to quote the Bible and unwilling to “Suffer a witch to live.” Exodus 22:18.

In the southern states of the USA the life of the slave was at the mercy of his or her owner.  If the owner deemed it necessary, the slave could be awarded the original meaning of the word for letting an employee go — he or she was terminated, and perhaps died on the spot, by bullet, beating or hanging.

In the same southern states — in my lifetime — black people, young and old, men and women, were lynched (hung by a rope thrown over a tree limb) or pulled apart by wild horses for the minutest of causes with or without proof of guilt.  This so-called “justice” was swift and often without right to appeal.  If someone had a rope, it was used — right away. Law enforcement officers were often guilty of turning a blind eye to this practice.

In much of the Middle East — TODAY — a woman may be stoned or beaten to death ON THE SPOT as a result of ANY accusation from a man who testifies that she did something irreverent or blasphemous.  Homosexuals, or others accused of deviant behavior, are often seen hanging by the neck from makeshift gallows in centers of commerce.

In the civilized world, the wanton taking of life is not now so easily achieved, and the death penalty is slowly being stricken from the books of justice — at least for now.

So here’s where my thoughts took what I considered to be a strange turn:

In past decades, The Gospel According to Hollywood depicted the arrival of aliens from other planets as a thing to be feared.  The aliens were here to take over.  Bodysnatchers would inhabit our bodies if we went to sleep after their arrival, etc., etc.  The life of an alien, in the movies, could be taken without hesitation.  Allowing the alien to live would have placed the people of earth in peril.

Lately, from time to time, a movie or TV program hits the screens that portrays the visiting aliens as beneficent to the human race; all these modern other-worldly tourists want to do, says Hollywood, is help us make our planet a better world.  They want to ease our social problems and help clear up rampant sickness.

You have to wonder, is there a law on the books protecting the rights (if they would actually have any) of visiting aliens?  Or, since they aren’t even human, is the life of these visitors deemed of no more value than the subject, the witch, the slave, the woman, or the Afro-American?  I guarantee you, a peon behind someone in one of the big chairs has drafted a protocol for how to handle this anticipated eventuality.

You may not have given much thought to how the world should handle the arrival of so-called visitors from other worlds.  You may subscribe to the shrinking contingent of believers in the notion that planet earth contains the only life forms in the universe.

On the other hand, you may see the UFO phenomenon as a manifestation of evil spirits, pretending to be friends, but bent on the quiet destruction of the inhabitants of our Godly Creation — a theory I presently subscribe to.

Congratulations if you’ve read this far.  Now try this next small section:

For me, the whole notion of alien equality is really “out there.”  But judging by the craziness portrayed in the daily news, it won’t be long before we see a whole slew of new crazies coming out of the closet claiming to be from another world and demanding equal rights to life and welfare and more.  Then they’ll announce that their “brothers and sisters” are due to show up anytime soon, and that we should prepare ourselves to meet them.

Sound ridiculous?  Yes, it does … just like the reports we see right now on the evening news, reports that we never imagined we would be seeing, reports that I suppose even Hollywood is having a hard time keeping up with.  

Alien equality is just going to be the next chapter. And beyond that ... even stranger.

And that’s just my take on it ….

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